NY Mirror


Macy's thanksgiving-day parade

Avoiding the Hershey highway, I made one last star trek for you: I went with WILLIAM H. MACY and his puppy dog face to a Park Avenue South restaurant and used the table only for eating. We even sat inside, because Macy pleaded not to have to be so plainly visible in the outdoor- café section. Fear of fans? Yeah—his wife's. "Ever since Desperate Housewives took off," Macy told me, "people come up to me like crazy." Because he's Mr. Huffman? Yep, he said, smiling. "But I love being Mr. Huffman."

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    He's not exactly chopped herring salad as Mr. Macy, delivering another top performance in Edmond, the taut little movie based on DAVID MAMET's play about a tightly wound man who goes on the biggest rampage since KATHY GRIFFIN couldn't find her ATM card. Macy saw the play in the '80s, "and I was outraged. I called Dave [Mamet] and said, 'Are you all right?' To put that kind of hatred and rage and use nigger with no impunity was outrageous." But he must have realized it's a juicy part, and apparently so did everyone else; movie versions have long been attempted, though the money people inevitably went on their own hate rampages when asked to produce it. "If nigger didn't get 'em," said Macy, "the sodomy did!"

    Crediting director STUART GORDON with making the film's "tortured birth" happen, Macy feels the result is more honest than the last big Oscar winner. "Beyond Crash's great acting and self-assured filmmaking," he said, "a lot of the scenes were not true, they were manipulative. You're thinking, 'Why are these people acting this way?' " To win an Oscar, I guess.

    Macy prefers gutsier flicks and he'd give the shirt off his back to help promote them—literally. Unlike Madonna, Macy's still flaunting his entire "middle-aged Lutheran" body, even doing so in the Disney biker movie he's shooting called Wild Hogs. "I had to take my clothes off in front of Travolta, TIM ALLEN, and some teamsters," he said, laughing. "Next time, it'll be in my contract— 'no nudity.' But it keeps me thin." He sheds in Edmond too and told me that the props department had him cover his penis with a tube sock. The director actually looked at this offbeat spectacle and said, "Can we get a smaller sock?"

    Before we zipped up and went back into the scary public, I had to ask about Mrs. Macy, whom he met when she was his acting student. Was this perhaps shades of Mamet's professorial harassment play, Oleanna (which Macy starred in and which stops short of Belgian chocolate)? "I never touched her until she wasn't a student anymore," he swore, puppy eyes twinkling. "Twenty minutes after."

    This year, being Mr. Huffman meant going to every awards show imaginable and even watching Crash win. Those ceremonies can be very trying experiences (which I live for). "You think, 'God, I hope I don't get nominated,' " Macy told me, dryly. "I started carrying a flask. The second I figured that out, awards shows got much better!"

    As for the next Oscar race, let's raise a flask to WOODY ALLEN and PEDRO ALMODÓVAR, both of whom—attention trend-piece editors—are serving up dead characters coming back to settle scores and look fabulous. But M. NIGHT RAMA-DAMA-DINGDONG could use a smaller sock. His dead-in-the-water Lady in the Water offers a swimming Hallmark card who spouts cringe inducers like "All creatures have a purpose." Or maybe all creatures have a porpoise? The laborious flick—which puts the cunt back in scruntand the barf back in narf—was summed up by the WOW Report with one lovely turn of phrase: "I see wet people." I might not die for you people, but I wanted to while sitting through that movie.


    Web extra:

    The most poignant part of the Miss Universe telecast the other night wasn't anything that happened during the pageant—it was the Cover Girl commercial featuring internationally known dumpee CHRISTIE BRINKLEY. "Would I want to be 25 again? Not a chance!" Brinkley said, wrinkling, as it were, her nose. OK, how about 17? Maybe then your skanky hubby would have kept you around. The ad, by the way, is for "age-defying makeup" and has Brinkley concluding, "But I still want that radiant look." Well, slather lots of the stuff on, honey. The days of BILLY JOEL singing "I love you just the way you are" are long over. Now, men love you just the way you WERE.


    musto@villagevoice.com

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